You Must Stay Awake!
You must take an active role in staying awake.
Seems like a big “duh” statement, doesn’t it? Here’s what I really mean:
I’m not talking about staying awake instead of sleeping; I’m urging you to stay awake in your consciousness.
My former unconscious life
I used to be a master of losing myself in a frantic pace. I could be consumed by details of where I had to be, what I would do or say to the people I thought I needed to impress.
What if’s were my focus, contingency plans my holy grail. Always on the move–doing, doing, doing, and then doing more.
Week days were consumed by task lists; weekends were eaten by check lists. I whirled and twisted in perpetual lines drawn through words symbolizing accomplishments.
Gradually, I realized that I was merely treading water in a sea of my own busyness. Slowly a light began to shine on my weary bobbing head and within that light I saw the slow demise of my self.
The self that wailed into the world at 8:59 p.m. on a mid-April night with pure innocence and grace, a clean chalk board on which to write an epic life story, was creeping toward extinction. If I kept the hurry-hither-and-yon pace, I would soon vanish back into the nothingness from which I burst.
That thought scared me. I’ve been lost in a mental black abyss before and there is no way I’m going back there. So it was time to get serious about living consciously.
A gradual awakening
I slowly began to awaken, not all at once, but with slow stretches. I first began to make different choices. See if these resonate with you:
- I choose to shred task lists. I plan only what absolutely needs to be planned. I think less about contingency plans.
- I choose to take steps to change what’s inside of me, like how to be gentle and easy with myself during times of extreme time constraints.
- I choose how I project myself onto you. I’m more cautious about my disposition and as often as possible smile and engage you in conversation even though my brain says “There’s no time!”
- I choose my outlook and language about other people. When I’m stressed, it’s all too easy to fall back to old patterns of complaining, blaming and gossiping about you and your situations.
- I choose what I take in from the external conditions of life. Stressful times are not the times for me to watch the news or engage in heated debates. I also try to be more aware of my tendency to judge others.
Staying awake, even in the midst of chaos
Instead of looking ahead, I focus my vision on who and what is around me. I give my all to staying present to right now.
I’ve discovered I can leave you alone and let you have your own experience while I simply support.
I can experience peace and gentleness. I can choose love over all other emotions.
I can be loving and tender in this moment without clinging to a future that is unknown. That is how I best change my insides.
I’m certainly not perfect at staying awake but the new me knows I don’t have to be perfect. Yes, there are frequent lapses into old behavior. In those times I still fear the unknown and fall back into feeling I need to prepare and make contingency plans.
Thankfully those times don’t last as long as they used to because they no longer form the basis of my lifestyle. I am a B Here Today person, fully vested in the opportunities that lay at my fingertips.
Are you a B Here Today person?